What You Should Know About This Degree
The RN to BSN degree program differs from traditional nursing programs in that it fast-tracks RNs who have earned an Associate Degree in Nursing through the bachelor’s degree program. Registered nurses who are practicing with an ADN can achieve a BSN with fewer credit hours and, often, greater flexibility.
If you’re interested in an RN to BSN program, you should research the program to ensure it’s accredited by either the CCNE or the ACEN. Nationally accredited programs offer graduates greater flexibility in career choices, particularly if you’re interested in becoming a traveling nurse.
The job outlook for graduates of an RN to BSN program is positive because the demand for qualified nurses is expected to increase through 2029. Nurses who hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing command higher starting salaries and are sought after by top employers, including hospitals, medical groups, insurance companies, and government organizations.
Registered nurses must take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), the industry’s standard test for practical nursing knowledge, which is required for licensure. If you’re already licensed as an RN, you need to keep your license current through the completion of continuing education credits, even if you’re studying for your BSN. Check with your state’s board of nursing for specific completion timelines.
When researching RN to BSN programs, answer the following questions:
- Am I eligible for this program? To be eligible for an RN to BSN degree program, you must be an RN with a two-year nursing degree. Check with each program to determine if an active RN license is required for admission.
- How long does it take to complete this online degree? A Bachelor of Science in Nursing requires completion of 120 credit hours or sometimes more. RNs who hold an Associate Degree in Nursing can typically transfer all 60 credits earned to the BSN program, leaving only 60 credit hours of upper-level undergraduate coursework to complete.
As you review RN to BSN programs, note admission deadlines and requirements. RN to BSN degree programs are in high demand and often place a limit on the number of new students admitted each year. Apply as early as possible to secure the best chances of acceptance.
Financing your BSN is an important consideration as well. Because of increased demand for qualified, bachelor-level nurses, financial aid is available from a variety of sources. In addition to completing the FAFSA, speak with a financial aid representative at your chosen college to inquire about available regional, local, and school-specific nursing scholarships and grants.